Technology & Combat Characteristics
Specializing in close combat and armed mainly with melee weapons, the Gundam Exia is one of four Gundams deployed in AD 2307 by the paramilitary organization, Celestial Being, to eliminate world conflicts through armed interventions. To fight against the world with their small numbers and win, these Gundams have overwhelming power and equipped with advanced technology a century ahead of its time. Notably, the semi-perpetual GN Drive mounted in the center of the Gundams provide almost limitless energy and generates special, multifunctional GN Particles. The GN Particles grant outstanding mobility, including independent flight capabilities, and are also utilized for beam weaponry, attitude control, and stealth purposes as the discharged particles can cause electromagnetic interference, leaving conventional communication and radar devices useless. The Gundams also share common aspects with conventional mobile suits, such as the use of E-Carbon for its armor material. However, the Gundams' E-Carbon has higher defensive power due to the use of advanced materials.
An example of Exia's overwhelming power is that its output was estimated to be about six times that of the SVMS-01 Union Flag, one of the newest conventional mobile suits at the time. The technical hurdles that had to be overcome to create the powerful Gundams and their GN Drives were high, making their production extremely difficult and caused the Gundams' development to occur in phases. The first generation machine, the GN-000 0 Gundam, established the basic system of a mobile suit powered by a GN Drive, and armed with a beam gun and beam saber. Subsequently, four second generation machines were developed with individual capabilities required for armed intervention, and their data served as a basis for the third generation machines, which included Exia and the other three Gundams deployed in the armed interventions. Specifically, Exia was developed from the GNY-001 Gundam Astraea, a general-purpose mobile suit with human-like movability that was used for testing various weapons, and the two machines have a number of similarities in terms of appearance.
The Astraea's movability aspect is particularly appropriate for the Exia, which requires the same range of articulations as the human body due to its close combat specialization. Thus, while the Exia is armed mainly with melee weapons, its basic performance remains that of a general-purpose mobile suit. In fact, Exia is the only Gundam deployed for the armed intervention that has a body structure capable of range of articulations like the human body's, and the omission of such a structure in the other three Gundams is simply because they do not require it as their specialization is in other areas. To achieve its wide range of articulations, Exia has the most complex basic frame out of the four Gundams, its armor is also more minutely segmentalized as well. This armor design however causes some internal structures and the joints to be unprotected during certain poses, lowering Exia's defensive capability. On the other hand, this design does provides better mobility, giving Exia the best projectile evasion capability among the four Gundams.
The Exia also has finer attitude control capabilities than the other Gundams, which is beneficial for close combat, and this is related to its GN Cables. The GN Cables, also known as “GN Power Lines”, are the light purple-colored cables running through various parts of the Exia's body and also one of its eye-catching visual features. While these cables are also found on other Gundams, the ones extending from the shoulders to the upper arms are unique to Exia. The cables facilitate the supply of tremendous amount of GN Particles, and thus energy, to each part of the Gundam instantaneously. They are also used for attitude control due to the GN Particles' mass reduction effect, and so, the Exia which has more cables on its exterior than the other Gundams is able to achieve finer control. In terms of defense however, such placements are dangerous, and later in GN-001REII Gundam Exia Repair II, the cables become mostly stowed in the armor.
The GN Particles' mass reduction effect also lightens the Gundam, and can be used to alter the mass ratio of various body parts. Due to this latter ability, it is possible to freely control the machine's inertia and turning capabilities when in the air, and for Active Mass Balance Auto-Control (AMBAC) when in space. This also eliminates the need for the legs to "walk” when moving. As for the control of GN Particles, it is largely carried out by the two clavicle antennas on the Gundam's torso. A minor role is played by the third generation Gundams' head antenna, which is experimentally equipped with particle control functions. The head antenna also has communications and radar search functions, as well as the black box for quantum communication linkage with Veda (the Celestial Being's quantum computing system). The rest of the Gundams' humanoid head unit also contain systems responsible for controlling the entire body, much like a human's head. On a side note, the Exia's head is designed to look like the helmet of the pilot suit worn by the Gundam Meisters in AD 2307-2308 to express the belief of “Meister = Gundam”.
While the GN Drive can produce GN Particles endlessly, even when the Gundams are inactive, there is a limit to the amount that could be instantaneously produced. Thus, continuous or heavy usage of beam weapons and other GN Particles consuming systems might cause the Gundams to run out of particles. To avoid this, the Gundams have GN Condensers in various body parts to store excess GN Particles. For maintenance purposes, the condensers can display the particles' compression rate and the amount stored. During mission, this display function is used for transmitting coded messages to allied units. On the matter of GN Drives, Celestial Being only created five units as that was deemed to be the minimum needed for armed interventions. The low number is not only due to difficulties in manufacturing the GN Drive, which requires Jupiter's high gravity environment, but also because having more GN Drives would increase the risk of them falling into the enemy's hands.
The Gundam Exia is nicknamed “Gundam Seven Swords” as its development code was “Seven Swords”, and as indicated by this name, it is equipped with a total of seven blades to meet the needs of the moment during combat. Of these seven, the GN Sword, GN Long Blade, GN Short Blade are physical blades, while the rest are beam-based and consisted of two GN Beam Sabers and two GN Beam Daggers. The GN Sword serves as the primary weapon and due to its low energy consumption, the Exia has an advantage in prolonged combat, which mainly occurs when fighting ace pilots or when subjected to traps such as the three major bloc's joint military exercise. The three physical blades also serve as countermeasures against GN Field, a protective barrier made of GN Particles. In other words, Exia is also intended to fight against Gundam/GN Drive-equipped machine that is piloted by a betrayer or captured by the enemy and used against Celestial Being. Early on, an alternate configuration of the GN-005 Gundam Virtue also had an anti-betrayer role, but its design was dropped and this increased the responsibilities placed on Exia and its Gundam Meister.
Other armaments include a GN Shield for defense that also provides protection to the internal structures and joints that might be exposed during movements. The GN Shield is usually in a compact size to maintain Exia's range of articulations, but can expand to increase the defensive area when needed. Similarly, the GN Sword, can fold its blade and has a Rifle Mode for ranged combat. The last of Exia's armament is another ranged weapon in the form of a pair of low-power GN Vulcans mounted in the forearms. During battles, the Exia gloriously sliced through its opponents in close combat, leaving a powerful impression on those who witnessed it and contributing greatly to the instillment of a "fear of Gundams" in the world. This was already anticipated by Celestial Being, and it is because of this that the organization's tactical forecaster, Sumeragi Lee Noriega, selected the Exia to intervene in the AEU-09 AEU Enact's presentation ceremony, which became the unveiling of the paramilitary organization.
The Gundam Exia has an "Over Boost Mode" that temporarily boosts its GN Drive's performance and thus increase the mobile suit's capabilities. During an emergency, the Exia can activate a special "Trans-Am System" that enhances its thrust and defensive capabilities, as well as increase its output to three times that of its normal specifications for a limited period of time. This system also causes the Gundam to glow red, but it is a double-edged sword as Exia's performance will drop dramatically once it ends. A number of additional optional equipment was also developed for Exia, such as the high mobility Avalanche Unit and the GNR-001E GN Arms Type-E support machine. When equipped with the Avalanche Unit, the Exia becomes the GN-001/hs-A01 Gundam Avalanche Exia and can speed past specialized high-speed mobile suits, which it normally cannot do despite having remarkable mobility. When docked with the GN Arms Type-E, the Exia becomes the GN-001+GNR-001E GN Armor Type-E, obtaining better mobility, offensive and defensive capabilities.
- GN Sword
- Mounted on the right forearm, the GN Sword is the Exia's main weapon and the largest among the seven swords. Its blade is longer than Exia's arm and is coated in GN Particles, granting it high cutting capability. Although the GN Sword has high destructive power, its large size made it unusable in certain situations, such as in narrow battlefield. Even if the GN Particle coating function is switched off, the weapon can still be utilized as a normal sword. The GN Sword can also function as a beam rifle by transforming to Rifle Mode, where the blade is folded to reveal the rifle's muzzle for firing highly destructive beams. The transformation mechanism is adopted to reduce as much as possible the number of equipment carried by Exia, increasing its flexibility. The Rifle Mode is also the form the GN Sword is in when the weapon is not in use. Additionally, in this mode, the portion of the weapon consisting of the blade and the rifle body can slide closer to the shield-like part at the side, leaving the Exia's right hand free to hold other weapons.
- GN Beam Saber
- A close combat weapon that emits a beam blade made of GN Particles from its hilt when drawn. A pair is stored on the back of Exia's shoulder armor, and they are identical to those used by other third generation Gundams. The GN Beam Saber has high power and the lack of a blade when it is stored reduces hindrance during mission. However, its power can be reduced due to atmospheric conditions and beam scattering/diffusion measures. Additionally, it cannot replicate certain actions of physical swords, such as using the blade to press the enemy. Various nations are rushing to develop Beam Saber as it is viewed as a next generation weapon for mobile suits, but Celestial Being is the first to succeed.
- GN Beam Dagger
- Stored on the Exia's rear waist, the pair of GN Beam Daggers have the same basic system as the GN Beam Sabers, but they are adjusted to emit shorter beam blades that consume less energy and also make them harder to diffuse. Thus, they are suitable to be used as throwing weapons to pierce distant enemies, and Exia's Gundam Meister, Setsuna, often used them in this manner. The GN Beam Daggers and GN Beam Sabers are originally the same, but their characteristics are altered due to function adjustments. Through re-adjustment from the cockpit by the Meister, their functions can be switched. Both the GN Beam Daggers and GN Beam Sabers can be used for underwater combat.
- GN Long Blade & GN Short Blade
- A pair of physical swords with different length, one long and one short, their blades are enveloped with GN Particles, enabling extraordinary cutting and piercing capabilities. Also known collectively as GN Blades, they can easily cut through a 3 meter thick E-Carbon plate thanks to the GN Particles. The GN Short Blade can also be used as a throwing weapon like the GN Beam Daggers. Among the Exia's seven swords, these two blades took the longest time to develop and hence were unavailable during the beginning of the armed interventions. Their lengthy development process is because it took a long time to adjust them to fit their hidden purpose – as weapons against GN Drive-equipped machine piloted by a betrayer of Celestial Being or one that is captured and used against the organization. Thus, they are given the ability to penetrate and cut through GN Field, ensuring the enemy's defeat. When not in use, the GN Long Blade is stored on a rotatable mount on the left hip, and the GN Short Blade is stored on the same type of mount on the right hip.
- GN Vulcan
- Although the GN Sword's Rifle Mode is powerful, it cannot react instantaneously due to the transformation mechanism. Therefore, a pair of small beam guns known as GN Vulcans are built into the forearms. Although they have low firepower, their beams can be rapid-fired intermittently and they are effective in restricting enemy movements, damaging conventional weapons without E-Carbon armor, etc.
- GN Shield
- Mounted on the left forearm, it is a shield specifically designed for Exia. The GN Shield is made of E-Carbon and can deploy a GN Field on its surface to achieve high defensive capabilities. As long as the GN Shield receives energy from Exia, it cannot be destroyed by conventional weapons. However, it can still be overwhelmed by powerful GN Particle-based beam weaponry. Since the Gundams starting with Exia have body armor with similar defensive capability, a shield may seem unnecessary at first glance. However, through the movement of the left arm, the mounted GN Shield can be used to absorb the shock of an attack. To maintain Exia's range of articulations, the GN Shield is usually kept at a compact size; it can expand its size and defensive area when needed through the sliding of the shield's blue parts outward. However, the expanded state has lower physical defensive capabilities, resulting in the need to enhance the GN Field, increasing the consumption of GN Particles. Since the GN Shield may be a hindrance when dual wielding weapons in close combat, the Exia can be launched without it.
- Proto GN Sword
- A prototype of Exia's GN Sword, it is originally used by the GNY-001 Gundam Astraea. The Exia (rollout color) is temporarily equipped with this weapon during a basic performance test as its three physical swords are still in development.
Special Equipment & Features
- Over Boost Mode
- The safety devices of Exia’s GN Drive can be deactivated to achieve a temporary 'boost' state. This draws out the GN Drive's full power and is known as "Over Boost Mode", but its use is usually discouraged. This mode is later used by GN-001REII Gundam Exia Repair II.
- Like the other 3rd generation Gundams, the Gundam Exia can deploy an external camouflage membrane over itself when stationary, blending it into its environment and making it look invisible. This allows the Gundam Meister to leave the Exia behind to carry out mission on foot, or for the Gundam to remain unseen as it waits for the mission to commence.
- A special system hidden by Celestial Being's founder, Aeolia Schenberg, within the black box of the original GN Drives and is meant to be activated when the organization's plan is distorted. During Trans-Am, all of the compressed high-density GN particles accumulated in the Gundam are fully released, enhancing its thrust and defensive capabilities as well as allowing it to perform at three times its normal output for a limited time. The entire Gundam also appears red as the tremendous amount of GN Particles surrounding and covering the machine as well as those within the GN Cables and in the minute paths in the armor, which are usually invisible, begin to glow red. Furthermore, afterimages are generated when the Gundam is moving. However, this system is also a double-edged sword, as once it ended, the Gundam's performance will drop dramatically as most of the GN Particles within its body have been used up. This negative effect will last until the stored GN Particles within the Gundam return to normal level, thus usage of the system requires careful consideration. The system's existence is only revealed in AD 2308 following the appearance of a betrayer, and is first used by Exia.
- The Gundams' operating system is linked to Veda, allowing the quantum computer to provide support to the Gundams and their Meisters. When Alejandro Corner gained possession of Veda with help from Ribbons Almark, they used it to intervene in the Gundams' systems, rendering them inoperable. Fortunately, the Ptolemaios team had considered such a probability and had developed a stand-alone operating system beforehand. The switch to this stand-alone operating system restores the Gundams to operating state, but the loss of support from Veda makes piloting the Gundams and completing missions much tougher for the Meisters.
For Exia's history and exploits, please go to Setsuna F. Seiei's page.
Notes & Trivia
- Exia is derived from "exousia", the Koine Greek for "authority." This can be a reference to The Powers, alternatively known as the Authorities, which are the sixth of the nine order of angels, with Virtue being fifth.
- The damage the Exia sustains in Setsuna's battle against Graham at the end of the first season could possibly be a tribute to the RX-78-2 Gundam's Last Shooting, as they both lose their head and left arm in a battle against their rival.
- During the conceptual development stage of the show, Gundam Exia was codenamed "Pawn Gundam". The Pawn Gundam was a close range oriented machine with very little special abilities and does not possess the Seven Sword (which was given to Knight Gundam or Dynames concept initially). Later, the Pawn Gundam would get an upgraded powerup system of sorts (the idea eventually evolved into the Trans-Am system and would become a standard feature in the finalized version). After it received its power-up ability, the Pawn Gundam would have taken the team leadership role away from Knight Gundam.
- Exia is one of four selected mobile suits for the Entry Grade model kit lineup.
- There are two different versions of the unit in Gundam Breaker Mobile, The Speed Attribute and the Power Attribute, with the latter being released as part of the Beginner Campaign, with the leg parts' Edge Fling attack omitted, and the arm parts' Beam Saber Shear being replaced with GN Vulcans.
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- MG 1/100 GN-001 Gundam Exia model kit manual
- 1/100 GN-001 Gundam Exia model kit manual
- The Official Gundam Perfect File Vol.1 – GN-001 Gundam Exia Mechanic File
- RG 1/144 GN-001 Gundam Exia model kit manual
- 'Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Mechanics 1st' Book
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 3, The Changing World
- HG00 1/144 SVMS-01 Union Flag model kit manual
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- HG00 1/144 GN-000 0 Gundam model kit manual
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- 1/100 GN-001/hs-A01 Gundam Avalanche Exia model kit manual
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- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 25, Setsuna
- 'Mobile Suit Illustrated 2013 [Popular Edition]' Book
- 'Mobile Suit Illustrated 2015' Book
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- 1/100 GN-001 Gundam Exia EXF [Trans-Am Mode] model kit manual
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- HG00 1/144 GN-001 Gundam Exia model kit manual
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 4, International Negotiation
- 'Veda ~Mobile Suit Gundam 00~ "Ultimate" Art Works II' Book
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 7, Unrewarded Souls
- 'Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Data Archives' Book
- HG00 1/144 GN-001 Gundam Exia [Trans-Am Mode] model kit manual
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 8, Indiscriminate Retaliation
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 19, Bonds
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00P Special Edition 4
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 13, Return of the Saint
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 21, Path of Destruction
- 1/100 GNY-001 Gundam Astraea model kit manual
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- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 50, Rebirth
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Episode 15, Broken Wings